Re: Leather Honing

snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I have always wondered about this too. Additionally, say with regard to timber framing what would one use to strop in the field for tune-ups. We are timber framing a house and have a couple large chisels in dupliacte so we can have a backup but occasionally on our 3 1/2" slick we could use a tune-up in the field as we cant afford a backup. As a tag along to jhermit's post if anyone has any good ideas for sharpening in the field I would be interested.
We are currently toting around a 12x24 piece of saftey glass with our WOD paper on it up to 2000 but thats about it. Not much of a tune-up only going to 2000.
Mark
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: : I just ordered my first hand plane after contemplating it for a long : while. Because of this, I started doing some research on sharpening and : have settled on Norton Waterstones. : : Anyway, I was just wondering why I don't hear much about using leather : for the final step instead of 8000 grit waterstone? It seems like quite : a few people are happy with it? : : Any advice? Should I sharpen to 8k and forget about it? Sharpen to 4k : and then go to leather? or sharpen to 8k and then go to leather? or : forget about leather, it is not worth it? I was thinking about getting : some leather and chromium Oxide, sharpen to 4k and the go to the leather...
'Honing' on leather is actually 'stropping'.
However, stropping is usually a resort for woodcarvers for whom an extremely sharp edge and polished bevel are essential.
One could say the same for some delicate cross-grain paring for some elements of fine woodworking, but edges of this kind could be overkill for much joinery and carpentry.
There have been (unproven) assertions that polished edges are less durable than those made with finer abrasives.
Jeff G
-- Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK Email address is username@ISP username is amgron ISP is clara.co.uk Website www.username.clara.net
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I touch up my chisels and such with a 1" thick "paddle" of maple to which I've attached PSA-backed 0.5 micron 3M microfinishing film. (Available at the Lee Valley website and the Museum of Woodworking Tools site.) I keep it on my bench when I'm doing a lot of chisel work or mortising and just give the tool a few swipes periodically to keep the edge sharp.
You could make up something similar with whatever grits you desired and keep it with you in the field.
I like the hardwood versus leather because I feel it doesn't dub the edge as much as leather.
Chuck Vance
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